Giving an answer to this question is very hard due to the extreme uncertainty of this moment. For this reason, most of the people interviewed at these companies decided to give no comment.
Here are the statements from some global players in the flat glass industry.
“The Brexit vote brings along ‘Unchartered Waters’ – so to speak. Inevitably there will be short term volatility, the currency swing is a reaction that has to be expected. If the exchange rate continues at a lower rate then we can expect the decision process for investment to slow. However, it’s too early to clarify the position going forward – we will have to see how the market settles during the next few weeks and months. In any case the leaving process won’t be immediate, it will take time.”
Mr. Steve Powell, Managing Director of Bystronic glass UK
''The Brexit will without doubt have an influence on the economic cooperation with the UK, and definitely turn the development of the UK market more difficult for us and also more risk will be involved, for example regarding exchange rates. The damage for the overall European economy cannot be foreseen yet, this will mainly depend on the further development of the EU.''
Mr. Othmar Sailer, CEO of the LiSEC Group, Austria
“...There is a near term risk of investment stagnation in the UK and potentially the EU construction sectors which would have a negative impact on the flat glass markets but we think this will be short term and that ultimately the markets will return to growth in early 2017...."
Mr. John Browne, CEO at Kastus Technologies Ltd., Ireland
“The current situation that results from BREXIT is uncertain since the conditions of the UK’s withdrawal have not been defined yet. For sedak, it is therefore unclear how those conditions may affect the European Flat Glass Industry.”
sedak GmbH & Co.KG, Germany
"We were shocked, but we must keep the calm. We're still committed as always with our clients in the UK. Tvitec glass will keep its presence in the UK while maintaining the daily work routine"
Mr. David López, International Sales Manager at Tvitec, Spain
“We understand this outcome will not please all of our members. The UK is now embarking on an unfamiliar process and of course the detail of what must happen and how will only gradually become clear. British Glass will continue to monitor the ongoing exit negotiations, relaying the implications to our members and facilitating cross-industry collaboration where appropriate.”
Dave Dalton, Chief Executive of British Glass Manufacturers Confederation, UK
"Before having an opinion on Brexit, it would be important to understand what Brexit will be. [...]
We are in the era of free trade, Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic cooperation agreements are on the way to completion; I do not believe that it will be in the interest of anybody to restrict free circulation of goods and capitals between the European Union and the UK [...] "
Mr. Alessandro Fenzi, CEO at Fenzi Group Spa, Italy
“The GGF Membership can rest assured that we will continue to deliver the same level of benefits and service for our Members. In the short term, we must wait until the Party Conferences this autumn and see how the political parties shape their leadership, policies and direction going forward. There is no doubt that the implications of Brexit and the political uncertainty is already sending economic shockwaves through the construction and property sector, the scale of which may not be clear for some time and as such a tough trading climate that will impact companies both large and small is anticipated.[...] "
Mr. Nigel Rees, GGF Group Chief Executive, UK
“Great Britain’s decision to leave the EU is a warning signal for companies. The Brexit will cost Europe as an industrial location a great deal of confidence among investors. It won’t be long before our machinery exports to the UK start to fall off noticeably. It is completely unclear what will happen to companies with UK subsidiaries. The EU must now contain the damage and keep the period of uncertainty as short as possible. Europe’s companies need security to plan ahead and a reliable roadmap for the exit”, says Thilo Brodtmann, German Engineering Federation (VDMA), chief executive, Germany.
We will keep you informed of new comments regarding Brexit and opinions about the future of the European flat glass industry.